Thursday 23 March 2017

BBC boss denies Chris Evans is ‘unprofessional’ and didn’t want Matt LeBlanc on Top Gear team

Matt LeBlanc (left) and Chris Evans before taking part in the first challenge for Top Gear
Matt LeBlanc (left) and Chris Evans before taking part in the first challenge for Top Gear
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A BBC boss has slammed as 'rubbish' reports claiming that Chris Evans' has been 'unprofessional' on the Top Gear set.

The Sun had reported that tensions between Evans and producer Lisa Clark were behind her decision to leave after five months on the show.

It had also been reported that Evans had objected to the hiring of former Friends star Matt LeBlanc for the presenting line-up.

However, acting director of BBC Television Mark Linsey has released a statement refuting these claims.

Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc filming Top Gear in Blackpool
Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc filming Top Gear in Blackpool

"It is rubbish to suggest Chris Evans's behaviour on the set of Top Gear has been in any way unprofessional," he said.

"Chris is a consummate professional and a real team-player. He is a passionate presenter who commits his heart and soul into everything he does - whether his Radio 2 show, Children In Need or Top Gear - and we are extremely fortunate to have him leading the show.

"Also, it is simply not true to suggest Chris did not support the signing of Matt LeBlanc, when he has been behind Matt joining the presenting team since day one.

"Chris and Matt are part of a wider production team that is full of brilliant and talented people. That team is tight-knit, in great spirits and utterly focused on delivering the best possible series for viewers."

Jeremy Clarkson was involved in a bust-up with Oisin Tymon at a hotel in North Yorkshire
Jeremy Clarkson was involved in a bust-up with Oisin Tymon at a hotel in North Yorkshire

When Lisa Clark departed the show she said she was simply "moving on to new projects" and she said, "I'd like to wish production all the very best on the show."

Clark had worked with the 49-year-old presenter since his time on The Big Breakfast in the 90s.  She had replaced Andy Wilman on Top Gear.  He left when Jeremy Clarkson was sacked following his bust-up with producer Oisin Tymon.

Clarkson issued a formal apology to the Irish producer and settled a racial discrimination and personal injury claim for a estimated £100,000 (€127,000).

The launch of the show, which has seen the departure of script editor Tom Ford and BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw, has been put delayed two weeks until May 22.

Jeremy Clarkson punched ‘Top Gear’ producer Oisin Tymon (pictured) after he was told he could not order a steak dinner at a hotel. Photo: BBC Worldwide/PA Wire
Jeremy Clarkson punched ‘Top Gear’ producer Oisin Tymon (pictured) after he was told he could not order a steak dinner at a hotel. Photo: BBC Worldwide/PA Wire

Clarkson will team up with fellow Top Gear presenters James May and Richard Hammond for a new car series for Amazon Prie.

Top Gear producer quit show over Chris Evans' tyrannical behaviour, sources claim

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